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"Just 5 Minutes Longer"

"Love never fails."

1 Corinthians 13:8

Like most people with an email account I receive notes from friends and fellow believers with bible verses and quotes attached to them as well as devotionals from ministries I have signed up for that are meant to encourage me and strengthen my walk with Jesus. One such encouragement I received came from a subscription on leadership and it was a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson that said, "A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer."

As I was thinking about what the quote meant the Lord quickened a passage of scripture to my mind from John 13:1 which says, "Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end." it was the last sentence that encouraged my heart and I pray it does yours today too, loved one. It says Jesus "loved them to the end". The implication is not that some how Jesus love ended for us when He went to the Cross. No, it is far better. The text reminds us that Jesus has never stopped loving us, He never quit on us, even though all quit on Him. Jesus is no ordinary man as He is the Son of God.

As I thought about Jesus words so many scriptures came to mind as well as stories I have grown to appreciate from life about staying the course and finishing the race before us. Most of us have heard reference made to a speech that Winston Churchill made regarding quitting. It took place on October 29, 1941, when United Kingdom (Great Britain) Prime Minister Winston Churchill visited Harrow School to hear the traditional songs he had sung there as a youth, as well as to speak to the students. This visit became one of his most quoted speeches, and not so much because of the content or the quality of what he spoke of but due to distortions that evolved about what he actually said that day.

The myth is that Churchill stood before the students and said, "Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, give up. Never give up. Never give up. Never give up." Then he sat down. In reality, he made a complete speech that included words similar to what are often misquoted. What he actually said in his speech that day was, "Never ever, ever, ever ever give in. Never give in, Never give in. Never give in." What Winston Churchill was exhorting the students to do that day was to persevere, to stay the course, and not to compromise. Churchill wanted the students to understand what another great leader and innovator of his own day had said. It was Thomas A. Edison, who knew from personal experience that, "Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time."

If anyone understood failure and the desire to quit it was Edison. On a cold December night in 1914, Thomas Edison's factory burst into flames that consumed all of his current projects and much of his life's work. At 67 years old he sat on a grassy knoll and watched everything he had worked for being destroyed in front of his own eyes. His wife was worried that he would become distraught over the loss and she sent their children to find their father who was sitting there almost as it were with a grin on his face watching his life's work being consumed before his very eyes. The next morning, Mr.Edison looked at the ruins of his factory and said of his loss: "There's value in disaster. All our mistakes are burned up. Thank God, we can start anew and now more intelligently."

Have you ever felt as if your life was like watching a warehouse burn down and all you can do is sit by hopelessly and watch? Been there done that! If you have ever suffered loss you probably have felt that to some degree. The good news this morning, loved one, if you are a child of God, you can, like Thomas Edison thank God and start anew as the book of Lamentations so graciously reminds us in chapter 3:22-23, "Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness." Did you get that, loved one, in a world where everything is one day going to burn up in a puff of smoke a few things will remain, and that is the mercy of God and His compassion for you and me as His faithfulness that is so great it never fails, it never gives in!

Are you discouraged today, loved one, has this world left you wanting, is there nothing that seems to satisfy you and you just feel like giving up? if so, remember the Lord! When Jesus came to earth His first public sermon was from the book of Isaiah chapter 61. You need to read it for yourself and meditate on it and let the words soak deep into your soul. It's the Good News of the Gospel, as Jesus stood reading he was proclaiming to His listeners that the Savior was here! Brighter days were now ours because God was among His people now like never before in human history and was about to accomplish something so amazing that it would change the course of mankind. The long awaited Messiah that the saints of old had lived their entire lives looking and waiting for had finally come to rescue His people, to provide what Isaiah 61:3 declared nearly a thousand years before, "To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified."

I don't know about you but waiting a thousand years for anything is a long time and most of us would have long given up and quit before then and yet the Lord reminds us that the hero's of the faith, the men and women of the bible that we so admire and who we read about in the "Hall of Faith" in the book of Hebrews didn't. Hebrews 11:13-14 declares, "These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland." They are hero's and yet not one of them had actually received what they sought and waited for. The world and the devil consider us fools to be patient and wait and to trust because we are as they say, "wasting our time." Yet, what made them hero's in God's eyes and what set them apart from the ordinary is that they didn't lose hope. No matter the situation, or the circumstance each of the hero's of the bible faced, they continued to live with hope and they held on to it. Like the quote above about bravery, they just held on five minutes longer than everybody else.

Make this your prayer today as I make it mine too, loved one, "God grant me the faith and the strength to hold on five minutes longer, to live in the light of Hebrews 11:1, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." In Jesus name!"

"But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."

Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV)


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